Selling Skills

“‘AIG effect’ sending meetings to Motown”

So where would you rather hold your next convention? Las Vegas or Detroit?

No, this isn’t a bad joke.

Detroit is taking meeting business that would normally be suited for Las Vegas or other resort destinations.

The Detroit Free Press reported last week the American Federation of Teachers elected to bring its 2012 annual meeting to Detroit. Other conventions are headed to Detroit, opting for intense business discussions rather that golf excursions and extravagant parties.

Call it the ¬†‘AIG effect.'” Howard Stutz, Inside Gaming

I wish I was smart enough to figure out how Vegas can get back the business they’re losing. Knowing the Dixie Chicks are right that “time heals everything” doesn’t help if you’re in any way dependent on the meetings business in Las Vegas (and really, who isn’t?). Not when “the local economy has lost about $166 million dollars based on the cancellation of ¬†more than 400 meetings.”

One way to start the healing is to stop thinking that cities, venues and hotels that offer fun, excitement and an environment that encourages learning during the day and networking at night is somehow not “opting for intense business discussions rather that golf excursions and extravagant parties.” Meetings have never been limited to just meeting rooms. It’s the discussions and connections that follow around the pool, in the bar, in the lobby, around the campfire, in the line waiting for the show, waiting for the airport shuttle and on the golf course that also help achieve and sometimes cement meeting goals. Anyway, you can have extravagant parties anywhere and if you really want to shirk work, you can find a golf course, the best Driver Golf Club at, and certainly a bar, in any location in the world. It’s silly thinking, I think, to say that intense business discussions are more intense in City A than City B. But that isn’t my point.

This is. There is a silver lining. Needs, wants and expectations have changed. There is a new world order. And there are opportunities that the weakened economy have opened up that someone – you – can profit from. Who didn’t you appeal to that you do now? Who wouldn’t you have considered that now looks like great business? What specific problems do you solve that people still have but think of differently? What is no longer working for you and what one thing can you change today to try a different angle to make it work? I’m so sorry that anyone has to lose and because that is always the way it is, how can you position yourself to win? What opportunities has the weakened economy opened up for you?

Stop selling what was. Because it isn’t. But that might not be so bad after all.

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